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Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975

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  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter

Abstract

All democratic systems are theoretically open to so-called election inversions, i.e., instances wherein a majority of the decision makers prefer one alternative but where the actual outcome is another. The paper examines the complex 1975 Danish government formation process, which involved five rounds of negotiations and at least five competing alternatives. We demonstrate that in terms of party preferences the final outcome was not the Condorcet winner but rather one that could have been beaten by at least three other government alternatives in head-to-head comparisons. The Danish procedural system of “negative” parliamentarism combined with simple plurality rule to produce the electoral inversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2013. "Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975," MPRA Paper 49682, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49682
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter & Klemmensen, Robert & Pedersen, Mogens N., 2008. "Højre, venstre eller midte? Et empirisk perspektiv på partirummet i dansk politik
      [Right, left or centre? An empirical perspective on the party space of Danish politics]
      ," MPRA Paper 68812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
    3. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2001. "An Empirical Example of the Condorcet Paradox of Voting in a Large Electorate," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(1-2), pages 135-145, April.
    4. Ostrom, Elinor, 2009. "An Agenda for the Study of Institutions," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 89-110, December.
    5. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2011. "Election inversions, coalitions and proportional representation: Examples from Danish elections," MPRA Paper 35302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social choice; voting paradoxes; election inversions;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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